Heather Rushton
Heather Rushton, Communications & Member Engagement Coordinator

Part of my job at the Chamber is to engage members. This is not as easy as it sounds! Many people simply don’t want to be engaged. They join the Chamber for the health benefits, and wish to be left alone. Fair enough, and that’s their prerogative. However there are many members who join in hopes of pursuing new business, strengthening networking opportunities, and taking advantage of the Chamber’s advocacy work. But, somewhere along the line, they fall through the cracks.

Take a catering company for example. They’re likely very busy- with lots of clients. If they join, it could be for a variety of reasons. But maybe they don’t have time to come out to a Distinguished Speakers Series Lunch- or perhaps they just aren’t interested in that kind of networking. We don’t have a newsletter that caters specifically to them, so what’s the benefit of their membership? It would be very easy for them to feel left out, and to question the value of their membership.

The truth is, your relationship with the Chamber is whatever you want to make it. If you want to land on our doorstep to talk about business ideas, we’re here. If you want to come to a business-after-hours (or even host one!) we can provide that- and it’s usually pretty successful. The best way to find out the zillion ways the Chamber can help your business is to come to a Chamber 101. We feed you lunch, and spend an hour and change talking through every detail of what a Chamber membership can do for you. Did you know you can get a sweet discount on Starbucks as a Chamber member? Bet you didn’t. There’s loads of little things like this that we know about- but our members don’t, because they don’t always ask.

Keeping members interested and active is a challenge. People are busy, and building relationships takes time and work. The longer you go without attending a Chamber event or meeting, the harder it is to find the motivation to go. Before you know it, it’s been three years and you are wondering why you’re still a member. My advice is this- call us. Email us. We’re here, we’re efficient and there’s no better feeling than knowing we’ve set you on the right path. We can rattle off twenty interesting ideas for you to get involved in the Chamber- whether it’s submitting a written article, maximizing our awesome adspaces, or finding the right event for you. If you feel like you’re swimming in a sea of other Chamber businesses, and you’re feeling like you need a lifeline, get in touch with us- we’re out here with you.